- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin this weekend signed a pair of pro-life bills into law, including one banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Bluegrass State is the 19th to ban abortions after the five-month mark, thought to be the point at which an unborn child can feel pain. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, signed a similar bill in December.

Pro-life groups say the number of states with bans on abortion at the point of pain capability signals the need for federal legislation.

“Momentum is building to pass a national ban on abortion after five months,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement.

She pointed out that only seven countries allow elective abortion more than halfway through a pregnancy.

Mr. Bevin, a Republican, also signed a bill requiring abortionists to conduct and describe an ultrasound to the mother before performing an abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union immediately challenged the constitutionality of the ultrasound bill and filed a federal lawsuit Monday to block the legislation.

“Requiring doctors to show every woman an ultrasound image and to describe them to her — even against her will — violates long-standing constitutional principles, including the right to privacy, the right to bodily integrity, and First Amendment freedoms,” William Sharp, legal director of the ACLU of Kentucky, said in a statement.

The governor said he wasn’t surprised by the lawsuit.

“It’s a shocker that the ACLU is suing someone,” Mr. Bevin said in an interview on WHAS-AM. “We anticipated as much. That’s what they do. It’s what liberals always do when they don’t like something. They sue.”

A federal appeals court struck down a similar North Carolina law in 2014, ruling that the ultrasound law violates the free speech rights of the abortionist.

More than half of states require ultrasounds before abortions.

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